Seattle Storm lose to the Las Vegas Aces again, fall to the No. 2 seed
Jewell Loyd went off for a game-high 30 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win against Las Vegas
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Jordin Canada of the Seattle Storm drives to the basket during a game against the Las Vegas Aces on Sept. 13. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAEvia Getty Images)
In a potential preview of the 2020 WNBA Finals, the Seattle Storm fell to the Las Vegas Aces 84-86 on Sunday, giving the No. 1 seed to the Aces. The two teams tied for the best record (18-4) in the league, but Vegas gets the advantage after defeating Seattle both times this season in their head-to-head match-ups.
The game stayed close throughout, with Seattle and Vegas tossing the lead back and forth like a game of hot potato. But in the end, the Aces — who were on the second game of a back-to-back — came out on top. For Vegas, MVP candidate A’ja Wilson had 23 points, three blocks and seven rebounds while reigning Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby finished with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the win.
Collectively, the Aces shot 43.5% from the field compared to the Storm’s 41.1% and were slightly better on the defensive glass. Poor shooting doomed the Storm, as countless shots just wouldn’t fall for Seattle in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we had some shots that were in and out during that time,” Seattle Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg said after the game. “[The Aces are] a good defensive team and sometimes, you get into situations where it’s harder to score and I think that’s kind of what happened there.”
Seattle missed Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird for the second straight game due to injuries, but still had just enough in the tank to battle it out against the Aces. Alysha Clark put up another strong performance in the team’s last game of the regular season, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
But it was Jewell Loyd who exploded in the second half — 26 of her game-high 30 points came in the latter half. However, the rest of the Storm struggled to hit shots down the stretch. Vegas managed to hold Seattle scoreless for five minutes in the fourth quarter, which essentially sealed the Storm’s fate in the game.
“We didn’t score for five minutes,” Loyd said after the game. “That’s can’t happen. We’re better than that.”
With their two-round bye, the Storm now have a week off until the semifinals tip off on Sunday.
During the 2020 WNBA regular season, which was dedicated to the #SayHerName campaign and to furthering the fight for Black lives, the players were able to come together in unprecedented ways to push for social justice and raise awareness about police brutality against Black people in the U.S.
Reflecting on the entire season, Kloppenburg said he was struck by the strength of the players when it came to using their platform for a higher purpose.
“The bigger message coming out of the ‘wubble’ is what great leaders these women are down here — not only on our team, but all of the teams,” Kloppenburg said. “What this league represents, what its players and coaches one hundred percent represent [is] trying to progress … toward a just society.”